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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Penang Oh Penang!

Actually I've started writing this post a few days ago. Thought I should write something about the 12th Malaysian General Election that took place on the 8th March 2008 as it is too irresistable to let go unnoticed. However, due to what I consider as my "hectic schedule," I somehow got too carried away with other activities that I did not get the chance to publish it. This is just my personal observation and I do not mean to condemn any party. So just enjoy reading it. I welcome your comments if you have any.
After the 12th General Election, some of my friends asked me about the situation in Penang. I would say that it is rather difficult, even for political analysts to read the politics of the Chinese people. After all, their's may not be the same as ours. What is certain is that all of their representatives (MCA or DAP) are highly concerned about the well-being of the Chinese in Malaysia. This is their meeting point. It's their unifying factor. No matter what, both parties will speak for their people. So, does it really matter who wins in Penang? Be it the ruling or the opposition party, the Penang CM will definitely be a Chinese. Perhaps it is too early for anyone to judge the new government. The differences in governing Penang are yet to be proven by DAP and its coalition.

The election has, to a certain degree, indicated the people's frustration with the ruling party. You cannot curb people's curiousity (curiousity can kill the goverment) and stop people from seeking the truth. Controlling and manipulating the media only propels people to find other means of getting informations that, to them, may seem to be more transparent. In this borderless world, they opt for the internet or even listen to campaigns from the oppositions. People simply craves for informations from all parties. When the opposition parties find their means of letting the people know their side of the story, the pudrid smell of corruptions and misgovernance can no longer be swept under the carpet. The electronic media and blogs now become a popular alternative channel to expose the people to shocking malpractices in BN, MCA and MIC. As in the case of Penang, the mismanagement of money etc. forces the people to accept the reality that the economic gap in Penang is devastatingly critical. The people now witness how the poor are pushed further down the poverty ladder while the rich continue to accumulate personal assets and grow more "buncit" (potted-bellied) everyday at the expense of "duit rakyat" (people's money). The economic development of Penang is, no doubt, rapid but if the success is not shared equally with the rest of the people then, what is left to be done? Yeap, the people thought that the government need to be "slapped"! The Malays who wish to awaken the government are left with not many choices. Going against the government means voting for the opposition party. If there is no PAS or PKR candidate contesting in their area, they'd rather vote for the DAP candidate. All done for the sake of social revivalism.

The percentage of those who has casted their votes in the election this time seems to be very low incomparison to the previous elections. In general, we can say that a majority of the voters are the low-class and middle-class Chinese and Indians. Though many of them may not be privileged to enjoy financial liberty, the people are well-informed about what has been happening. They are, to a certain degree, marginalised and denied of equal rights as citizens of Penang. With injustice occuring right in front of their nose, these people feel the oppression and can no longer remain silent. Through the campaings carried out by the opposition parties, what goes on during the reign of Koh Tsu Kun and his team is exposed. The mega projects are highly monopolised and politicised by the cronies. Thus, his party is made to suffer and the result of the election is pretty evident. DAP emerges to score most points in Penang.
Now that DAP has taken over Penang, they will have to convince the people that they are working for the people of Penang, Malays and non-Malays. From what we have been told, they have taken their first step into revising NEP. Lim Guan Eng is discussing with Pak Lah the possibility of getting Petronas to handle the construction of second Penang Bridge. It has been said that if so were to be done, the cost can be slashed from billions to just RM900 million. They are also planning to abandon projects that will not be of Penangites' benefit and priority. Like what has been said, it is still too early to judge. What the people hope is that this will persist and not simply remain as "hot hot chicken shit". Both -the Malays and the non- Malays, have taken an enormous risk to make way for the opposition party who, for about 50 years, has been struggling and pleading the society that they'd be given a chance to prove themselves. Let's just hope that they are sincere in serving the people. If not, then the poor people will continue to switch. So BA...you have all eyes on you:)

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